Career Advice for Someone Who Has Worked for Almost 30 Years

Around this time, everyone is probably going through the performance review or ending. This is because, if not, it is perhaps starting up soon, especially for the younger generation that’s up and coming. So I wanted to give you some tips that I think will definitely help you in your career. And these are more not really having to do with career path and those type of things more about just how things work at work, and I’m going, being honest with you, is not going to be pretty. But guess what, that’s what it is to be an adult; things are not pretty.

Follow-Up Meetings with Email Especially After Conflict Management

It seems like you think you leave it behind when you leave elementary school and high school and stuff. Sometimes you think you leave the bullying and all that stuff behind, but you don’t. So let’s get started talking about some insightful advice that I would give my kids, my niece, my nephew about work. The first thing is at work, you have to be very professional. There probably are situations that if you were outside of work, you would probably handle differently. But at work, you can do those things; you have to have a level of professionalism. Even if someone is pissing you off, you have to basically check them in a way that is not insulting, is not degrading, and makes you cover yourself. So the first thing that I would do is anytime you’re meeting with someone, especially you’re having some type of conflict with them, make sure you follow up via email because you don’t want it to get to a point where it escalates. And then you don’t have any paper trail to back you up. Make sure that you document everything. It might annoy the other person, but who cares. This is your career.

Anytime you speak with someone, make sure that you send a follow-up email in that email. They can respond if they think that there is something that you didn’t really get correct. But at least you have a paper trail that goes with that, so if you ever escalate.

I have met people who have had to escalate to even a higher level in my career. There was even one coworker who had to actually hire attorneys. And that is why it’s so important to document the other thing as well.

Avoid Office Gossip

Do not get involved in office gossip. If someone comes to you talking bad about someone, especially if it’s your boss, smile and walk away or smile and just say like, Hey, I feel a little uncomfortable with this conversation. Let’s just end it right here. You do not want to get involved with that. Because I know that I used to love gossiping in high school in high school and man, it bit me in the ass. And now, as an adult, I’m like, “Oh my gosh, why the hell did I do that?” But as a teenager, you don’t think about it.

You don’t want it to get to that point where someone’s bashing someone, you get involved, and then you are the one who is pinpointed as the gossip. You don’t want to get involved in that drama. I’m not gonna lie to you. I don’t like getting involved in the drama, but I’m the person with the popcorn in the back. Just watching. I love reality shows. My nephew and I always joke about how we don’t like to be involved in the drama. However, we will be on the side listening and eating popcorn. But joking aside, don’t get involved in that it will not serve you at all.

Don’t Talk Your Private Affairs

I have met two great friends at work. We basically started our careers together, and we actually worked in the same place, and that’s how we became friends. But that is usually not the norm.

Be cautious about being too friendly with your coworkers. You want to be friendly, but don’t be “over-friendly.” And I mean in the sense of don’t talk about your personal life. I’m a very private person. It’s like pulling teeth to get things out of me. The reason why is because I saw how some of my family members just blurted out their business to everyone. And it really hurt them doing that.

Keep your personal business to yourself. Don’t tell them about your family, the negative and the positive. You could say, “Oh, I went on a trip with my with my family,” or “Oh, my kids and Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts.” Those types of things, but don’t get involved in telling them like the deep level, the kind of stuff like I’m having issues with my mom, I paint my brother, oh, my gosh, let me tell you this dirty family secret. Just don’t, because people tend to sometimes use things against you. So keep those conversations with your therapist, other family members you trust, and your friends. Do not ever talk to your coworkers about your personal business, especially the deep-level stuff.

Be Kind and Share Your Knowledge

You want to treat people the way you would like to be treated. If you don’t like being treated a certain way, don’t treat other people that way either, especially when you get higher up and get into more senior-level positions. Some people get let that get to their head, and man, their ego gets huge. Don’t be that person; be a little humble. Remember where you came from, remember the struggles that you’ve had to deal with because a little secret the majority of us, we’re going to have some struggles in our careers, anything in life is not perfect. So you’re going to have to struggle, you’re going to probably end up with a toxic boss, you might end up with a toxic coworker or a toxic work environment or a toxic client, but this is the way that we handle it. We are not people that are not in control of our lives. So don’t ever get to that point where you go tit for tat, do the type of like revenge thing, just don’t get involved in that just treat people the way you want to be treated.

Don’t Say “It’s Not in Your Job Description”

And the last tip that I’ll leave for you is, Don’t be one of those people that say that is not in my job description. Especially if you work in a smaller company, you want to be that person that helps other people. It will help you figure out what you really love to do, especially if you don’t really know what you want to do in your career. It will help you because you’ll be delving into areas, people will see how amazing you are and that you really are trying to help the team. So you will, if there ever is a position that comes up, guess who will be the first person that people think about you. So just think about that and just consider that as well. I hope that that that was helpful. I probably have other tips out there. Let me know if you’d like to hear them. I have been working since I was 15. And I’m in my 40s now. So it’s been a lot of different jobs, different positions that I’ve had. And I’ve definitely learned a lot throughout that. I will say that even last year, I was different. And I feel like I’m better than I was last year because I am very self-aware of the things I need to work on.

I love constructive feedback. I don’t understand why people don’t. If someone is being very respectful of their feedback, take it because it will help your times. So let me know if you’d like to hear this advice that I have learned throughout my over 20 plus years of working, and I will talk to you next week. Bye!

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